Meatless Monday: Salvadoran Black Bean Pupusa Recipe

Although I am the teacher, I am constantly learning from my students. Recently one of my estudiantes from El Salvador and her mother taught me to make pupusas--a perfect dish for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Pupusas are thick Salvadoran tortillas traditionally stuffed with cheese, beans, or meat, and often covered with salsa and curtida, a cabbage slaw.

This Meatless Monday, celebrate El Salvador in your kitchen with vegan black bean pupusas.

Black Bean Pupusa Recipe


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans
  • 2 1/2 cups corn masa
  • 2 cups water



  1. Saute onions in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and spices and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add beans, cook for 5 minutes, then mash with a bean masher.
  2. In a large bowl, add water to masa and stir until it forms a soft dough. Knead dough for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Roll a handful of dough into a ball and use your thumbs to shape it into a bowl. Put one spoonful of bean mixture in the middle of the dough then flatten dough around the beans.
  4. Cook pupusas on a griddle or electric skillet for 2 minutes on each side, until golden. Serve and enjoy!


¡Qué rico!

Bean pupusas are as healthy as they are sabroso. Frijoles in this vegetarian receta provide protein and corn masa is an excellent source of carbohydrates which give your body energy and fiber to keep you feeling full. Topping pupusas with curtida and salsa made with fresh vegetables adds flavor and important vitamins and minerals.


Already craving more pupusas? Enjoy meatless mushroom or cheese pupusas.

For more Salvadoran sabor try this corn tamales recipe or empanadas like the ones I share in Meatless Monday: Costa Rican Potato Empanadas.

With 2 million people of Salvadoran descent living in the United States, Salvadorans are the third-largest population of Hispanic origin after Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. Enjoy the flavors of El Salvador this Hispanic Heritage Month or any time with sabroso pupusas.

¿Need Meatless Monday inspiration? Click here to read more of my recipes.

The Wise Latina Club's Natalie Wagner FierroA teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.

Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

What is your favorite corn-based recipe?